Salesian Family at the Sustainable Uruguay Expo
The Salesians of Don Bosco and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians came together at the Sustainable Uruguay Expo from 8 to 11 June 2023, organised by the Ministry for the Environment and held at the Antel Arena stadium in Montevideo.
It is the first time that Salesian educative and pastoral communities have been involved in this government initiative and, with the exception of the University of the Republic, they were the only educational centres to take part in this 2023 event.
The Expo aims to promote sustainable development and care for the environment and is set up as a place to publicise and disseminate initiatives, commitments and activities that have a favourable impact on the environment, helping to change it in a positive way.
Many citizens and authorities at the event visited the Salesian Family pavilion, which was already noted for a banner with the words “Salesian Presence, committed to integral ecology”. Many people interacted with great interest with the children, young people and teenagers who very simply presented the ecological experiences carried out in Salesian houses, gave them souvenirs (compost, seeds) and invited them to take part in some fun activities on the topic.
The first to arrive at the Salesian pavilion, on the opening day, was the President of the Amministrazione Nazionale delle Utilizzazioni e trasmissioni elettriche dello Stato (UTE), engineer Silvia Emaldi, a former Salesian student, who listened carefully to the children’s explanations and interacted with them. Subsequently the Vice President of the Republic, Beatriz Argimón, visited the Salesian pavilion, and spent time with the youngsters. Some teenagers also invited the mayor of Montevideo, Carolina Cosse, who expressed her interest in implementing some initiatives together in the near future. In addition, we also note the presence of the Minister of the Environment, Robert Bouvier, and the Undersecretary, Gerardo Amarilla.
On Saturday, 10 June, the President of the Republic, Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou, also arrived at the Expo. He had a nice exchange with the young Salesians who taught him how to take care of the seedlings, while cameras covered the opportunity. The social pages of the President, the Vice President, the Mayor of Montevideo and the Minister of the Environment gave news of these encounters with the various Salesian houses.
And moreover, on two occasions, the Antel Arena stadium was transformed into a Salesian courtyard when the intervention of young people from the Salesian Ciudad de la Costa school and the Cordón Oratory invited those present to join in with the games and dances they led.
Of the 12 communities of the Salesian Family that participated, four belonged to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (San José, Las Piedras, Dr. Andrés Pastorino, MaríaAuxiliadora and Nuestra Señora del Luján in Montevideo) and 8 belonged to the Salesians of Don Bosco schools (Maturanae, Pio, Juan XXIII, Talleres Don Bosco, Movimiento Tacurú, San Isidro Las Piedras, Paiva and Salesians Cuidad de la Costa).